PCSing CONUS this summer?

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – Ricky Woodard, warehouse worker/packer, carries boxes to the moving truck July 23. Summer season is one of the busiest times for a Permanent Change-of-Station for military members. One important rule to preparing for PCS is organization. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Gul Crockett)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – Summer season is one of the busiest times for a Permanent Change-of-Station for military members. One important rule to preparing for PCS is organization. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Gul Crockett)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Defense Department expects the largest volume of requests for property movement from May 1 to July 31 due to the increase in Permanent Change of Stations, impacting several transportation offices here.

Because of the peak in summer moves, the entire DOD is competing with the private sector to secure Transportation Service Providers to pack and pick up personal property shipments.

To offset the impact to families, the Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices are using all available tools and options to manage shipment volume and move property in accordance with customers' requested pickup dates. To that end, they are working closely with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and commercial industry to identify carriers who are able to service shipments.

The JPPSOs are also placing some shipments into temporary storage at origin locations. Furthermore, military services have been working with industry to add flexibility to business rules with a goal of securing maximum carrier capacity.

Because there are so many competing pressures for personal property movement this summer, it's important to focus on a few things the moving service member can do to offset the impact. First, they can review their schedule and work with the assignments team to determine if they can postpone their move by changing their report-not-later-than-date until after the summer season when carriers are better able to pack and pick up property.

The Personal Property Processing Office on base understands that postponing moves may be challenging for service members who have pending home sales, expiring lease agreements, etc.; however, flexibility in the departure plan affords the JPPSOs an expanded opportunity to move the property.

Another action service members can take is to perform a Personally Procured Move, formerly Do It Yourself. This option allows individuals to control their move dates and ensures they have ready access to their property upon arrival at a new location. There are several PPM options, including one that reimburses up to what the government would have paid for the move and another where individuals could receive a financial incentive if the move costs less than 95 percent of the government's constructed cost. Factors such as weight limit, actual weight of property moved and distance between origin and destination determine the amount of money paid.

In addition to the old rent a truck PPM option, service members now have access to new modes within the commercial industry called portable moving and storage containers. These come in the form of containers dropped at a service member's door that they pack and the company picks up, transports, stores and then delivers to the destination requested. Some companies also offer a menu of associated services including full or partial packing.

If service members want to discuss the benefits of PPMs, the local Personal Property Processing Office, formerly the Travel Management Office, can provide an estimate of the cost factors, describe the particulars of the programs and help determine if this option is beneficial to the service member.

Service members are encouraged to come into the Personal Property Processing Office as soon as they receive hard copies of their orders to complete the moving process. For questions or concerns, contact the Personal Property Processing Office at 325-654-4437.